April 20, 2011

Well? Well.

You don't know unless you try.
As you all know...
That's what I got out of the XFACTOR "experience".
Well, about a month ago, I submitted tea bowl photos for the
2011 Tea Bowl National at The Kansas City Clay Guild .
LO and BEHOLD. This blue puppy got in!

The KCCG is planning to give a portion of their percentage to the Earthquake/Tsunami relief in Japan. I am so pleased, I will give my entire portion to that relief effort.

In the mean time... I have been revamping My Etsy Shop .
I have decided the gradiated grey background with all of the knicks and scratches that occur, as well as the lack of pureness is on my nerves. So, I went white.
The work seems to pop. There is nothing else to focus on. I think it feels more current.
I am thinking if I need the other background for submissions and such, I will switch only then. I liked the burlap background but it seemed to distract more than I cared for. I am thinking if I do sales and shows, fresh white paper or other white material is the way I'd like to go.
So I changed my avatar too:

AND I took all new photos of my existing listings:

I have a bunch of work in the bisque kiln right now.

I have decided to focus on clays that do not have MANGANESE in them as everyone is FREAKING me out about the continued throwing of my speckled and chocolate brown clays.
SO... I am working with some red,the speckled tan without speckles and my white cone 6 porcelain(I still battle with that name). I am going to try to use the other stuff as slip as needed and be very careful mixing and with clean up and wear masks...etc...

A little background:
I have been really focused on the action painters and therefore, the abstract expressionists of the 40''s to 60's. This has been in my repertoire of interest after I left fashion behind and embarked on my own "self-study", continuing my art history education. I really focused on that time and the work. The life style and the war was interesting to me as well. I poured over books in the library at the time and then I read the 930 page book "Jackson Pollock:An American Saga". (To be fair, the book really ends on page 801...but I digress)The book sends you off on to "historical" tangents about any one and everyone who touched his life... including his ancestors, his parents, his teachers, the other artists right before and during his time... and of course his wife: Lee Krasner. Well... I have been reading about her NOW ,as I have always been intrigued by her and the "supporting role" that she played. She was a very "relevant" artist in her own right and it is very interesting how the times and society did and still does have a profound affect on women vs. men in the art world(actually in all professions). But again, I digress.
Well, not really.

My general focus with my work now is gesture and statement.

I am most interested in working with certain textures and layering but I don't want to be gratuitous.
You know?
I don't want to add "STUFF" just to add "STUFF".
Sometimes as I am working, I am carving or glazing and I just get what is like a writer's "run on sentence"...
This blog is an example of this sort of writing.
Sometimes that works for people.
In my art, it does not work for me.
I like layering and development of surface but it needs cohesion.
You know?
It can only be busy-busy if all of the busy-ness creates a depth instead of dizziness...
This is really important to me in my work.
It is hard at times to be happy with the end result.

These are my deeper issues with my art.
This is the struggle I have and will likely continue to have.
I have these issues within me whether I am creating a mug or a sculptural wall piece. Sometimes I have to let go and move to the next piece.
Sometimes I am satisfied and sometimes I am not.
Sometimes I can reach a more comfortable place with a piece I was not entirely comfortable with by choosing glazes and glaze applications that morph the piece into something I am happier with.
Sometimes I cannot.
Sometimes I am most happy at the leather hard to bone dry stage and I cringe at the future of the piece because I know I will lose how I feel about it in that moment.
So fleeting.
So hard.
But I continue.
Because I really can't stop....
I have to twist and turn and ponder and discuss and fret and frustrate and love and lose.
I often think I wish I did not have this.
This inner struggle.
This outer struggle.
And then I secretly(?) thank goodness this is who I am.
I do believe I need it as much as need air and water.
It is a conundrum.
I work hard to be present and focused and in the moment.
I will continue to attempt to have that as well as this.

Carry on.


  1. hi judi,
    i've always loved the abstract expressionists too. i'm fascinated by pollock but i like others more. your shop looks great and i've been thinking about going to a white background too

  2. I love the clean white background. Your work really does pop, but it also has a calming feel. Excellent post. Great read. Loved it.
    P.S. Congrats on your tea bowl.

  3. Thanks guys.
    On a technical note. I guess it is technical... I have tossed around the idea of adding stuff like granular ilmenite to the clay as needed to get some texture and speckling. I have also considered doing a little clay digging... Or just crushing up some ion shale. Not sure what i will do or what I really need for what I want to achieve but I am always open to ideas....

  4. isn't it always about the journey and the path?
    some days- as of late- I am just making pots.
    I don't need to think- my family has me doing more thinking then one brain should be able right now so I am playing within a safety zone.
    But I do love the tea bowl sweet.
    Great and thoughtful post.

  5. the granular illmenite can go right into a glaze, or you can try sprinkling it on top of the wet glaze surface. Also, PSH has a chocolate brown claybody that gets its colour form iron, not manganese if you are interested. 540i, I think.
    And congrats on the teabowl! that's awesome and the cup is beautiful!!!

  6. Congratulations on your tea bowl acceptance! While I have been mudless for the past 2 years, I yearn to go back...reading your blog & others makes me pine for clay. ps. I also like the white back ground!

  7. Cynthia... WE WANT YOU BACK!

  8. Congrats Judi! Your teabowl is beautiful.

  9. Congratulations, Judi..and thanks for the thought provoking post..will read it over again and ponder some more..:)..

  10. congrats on teabowl entry...woohoo!! love the white with the soft shadows mmmm.. diggin the speckles in clay idea maybe check your beach to see if theres some nice iron clay down there to mix in with yours or dig a hole in the garden and see whats down there :P lovin the new focus judi :))


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